“Four years and we haven’t seen a single result.”
By D. Gutiérrez
Despite the rain, dozens of protestors assembled outside the San Ysidro Port of Entry, Saturday afternoon, March 1st. Representatives from multiple grassroots organizations, as well as professors, students, and concerned citizens gathered to voice their anger at the growing amount of deaths that have occurred at the hand of the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Family members of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas were also present to denounce the four years they have endured without any justice.
Anastasio Hernández Rojas was killed in 2010 while detained by Border Patrol and CBP agents. Videos surfaced some time later documenting the brutal death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas. Multiple government agents crowded around the handcuffed Hernan-dez to inflict bodily harm as another agent electrocuted him with a taser gun.
Despite compelling video, four years have passed and still no one was been punished for the crime.
Since the death of Hernández Rojas, public scrutiny has fallen on both the Border Patrol and CBP. Dozens of cases have emerged in which agents from both government agen-cies may have wrongfully killed people, all of them being people of color. In October of 2012, Border Patrol agents shot an unarmed 16 year-old 10 times. More troubling still, it was recently revealed that hundreds of Border Patrol applicants have failed a recently instated polygraph exam due to histories of violence.
Bertha Gutiérrez, an organizer at the event, said that the violence perpetuated by Bor-der Patrol agents is unsettling. “We’re tired of seeing this. These killings have traumatized us, traumatized our families,” she said.
The case of Munique Tachiquin Alvarado highlights that death by Border Patrol is not limited to the border. Tachiquin Alvarado was shot nine times in a residential neighborhood in Chula Vista by a Border Patrol agent who is currently under investigation.
“This is happening right down the street. How am I supposed to feel knowing this while my kids are out in the street?” said Bertha Gutiérrez.
Regarding the current investigation of Anastasio Hernández Rojas’s death, María de la Luz Rojas, his mother, said, “Four years and we haven’t seen a single result.” As one young poet of the San Diego Immigrant Youth Collective said during a poetry recital at the protest, the border “is an open wound.”
The following embedded video was taken while Hernandez Rojas was being beaten by the Border Patrol. You cannot see him but you can hear him screaming and begging for them to stop. He later died.
Will Falk says
One of the most powerful moments of the day, for me, came when CBP officers started laughing at us and Bertha looked them right in the eye, with her microphone in hand, and said, “We’re watching you.”
They stopped laughing.
Now they need to stop murdering.
Brent E. Beltrán says
The behavior of the Border Patrol is sickening. Those that that abuse their authority need to be put in jail.
Bertha gutierrez says
We denounce the murders being committed by Border Patrol with no accountability and no justice for the victims and their families. We demand justice for all the victims and their families! In the case of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, the coroner’s report declared his death a homicide. There are witnesses and there are videos of Anastasio’s murder. We demand that all those who participated in this homicide to be charged to the fullest extent of the law! Anything less is unacceptable!
US Border Patrol must change their protocols and stop justifying the use of lethal force against “alleged” rock throwers! ROCKS DO NOT EQUAL BULLETS!! MANDATORY JAIL FOR KILLER BORDER PATROL AGENTS!